Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing

Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing
© Stefani Reynolds

The Senate Finance Committee's first hearing of the year will focus on prescription drug prices, panel chairman Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBurr says intelligence watchdog should be 'independent' after inspector general firing Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill MORE (R-Iowa) announced Tuesday.

The Jan. 29 hearing "will be the first in a series of hearings scrutinizing prescription drug pricing and considering policy and oversight solutions to lower costs for American patients," Grassley said in a statement Tuesday.

"We already know what the problem is. It’s time to look at bipartisan solutions and work to turn them into law,” he added.

The Senate hearing will be the same day the Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee holds the first of its own drug pricing hearings.

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The two hearings on the same day shows the bipartisan nature of the concern over rising drug prices.

Grassley and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears Maryland governor: 'Simply not enough supplies' on hand to tackle coronavirus Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges MORE (D-Md.) have made rising drug prices a central concern.

Grassley is largely seen as a dogged investigator who backs free-market principles, and is not seen as an ally of the pharmaceutical industry.

He is also willing to work with Democrats. In September he teamed up with Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Democratic lawmakers demand government stop deporting unaccompanied children MORE (D-Ill.) to legislate that television advertisements for drugs be accompanied by price disclosures. The measure was ultimately blocked by House Republicans.

Earlier this month, Grassley laid out his priorities for drug pricing action, including legislation with Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Democrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Minn.) that would allow patients to import prescription drugs from Canada.

He has also expressed support for much of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE's drug pricing agenda.